Oil markets facing a 'paradigm shift' amid changing consumer behaviours

Author: Sarah Trinder


LONDON (ICIS)--The oil markets are facing a "paradigm shift", as growing supplies shift focus from when production will reach its highest point to when demand is likely to begin to fall, according to a vice president with US oil and gas major Chevron.

Industry discussions have shifted from 'peak oil' to 'peak demand', according to Patti Leigh, vice president for commercial strategy and support at Chevron.

“We’ve gone from a scarcity of supply to an abundance,” Leigh said, speaking at the 23rd ICIS World Base Oils conference in London.

“There’s a lot of low cost supply available in terms of crude and a slowing down of long term demand,” she said.

“Consumer behaviours are changing and this impacts demand. The need for energy efficiency is growing and so drives demand in a negative direction,” she added.

Despite this, Leigh expects oil and gas to remain key energy sources due to a growing middle class, with the two making up 50% of the global energy mix by 2040, although a slower growth will be seen for oil.